Art reflects the realities of living out the everyday, ordinary mundane. Art is not instant. It is a labor-intensive process of forming something from nothing. It is lines, creases, wrinkles, textures, colors, and erasures. For me art is also revision, editing, and ceasing for a moment to survey the birth of an idea.
Sometimes art is the whisper of abandon. It is the silence of the undone. It is the sudden realization that we cannot finish as we might have planned.
That’s that whole of life – a process of practicing, learning, growing, pressing in, and stepping back. This is often the hard part of living – knowing when to step away.
You come to the creative spot, and nothing flows. The water trickles to a halt. The ground upon which you’ve toiled yields no fruit, no growth. No amount of effort sparks the genius within you. You’re stuck.
But are you really stuck? Is it really over before it begins? Are you done? Is it time to quit? Can this “thing” – whatever “it” is – be salvaged?
Pulsing questions may be swirling through your mind. The human impulse is often to recede in defeat or get more busy, but don’t.
Drop the fear. Lay down the guilt and self-condemnation. Lose the unrealistic expectations. Be gracious toward yourself.
Lean into the moment. What do you really see?
Let life speak. What do you hear in the quiet hush?
In this process of living, what treasures are twinkling in the hidden nooks and crannies? As you rest in the breath of quiet inspiration, do you see a new thing springing up before you?
I submit to you that we have an opportunity to rest our hands from the work and see what the abandoning silence brings – a new light, a new spark, a refined focus, a renewed energy, a deeper clarification, a new way of doing, a new way of finishing, a new way of designing.
Whatever that new way might be in your creative process, be open to the ceasing – even if only for a moment. You just may see your way clear to the masterpiece you’ve dreamed of. That’s the real beauty of the artist’s way.
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